Category Archives: Reviews

Singapore Daily Deal Review – Fern & Kiwi

50% off Fern & Kiwi: $10 for $20 Cash Voucher for Food Items at Fern & Kiwi, Clarke Quay – Use Unlimited Vouchers Per Bill & Enjoy Mouth-Watering Dishes Like Oysters, Mussels, Pork Belly, Ribs, Beef & Many More!

Fern & Kiwi is a Clarke Quay restaurant that sits breezily along the river’s glitzy, touristy main watering hole. It aspires to embody everything New Zealand, from its national symbols, sports, and uh, cuisine, whatever New Zealand food is supposed to be. After dining at this blissfully nationalistic establishment, I’m sorry to say I’m still none the wiser as to what Kiwi food is, besides nebulous generalizations like indistinct at best and disappointing at worst.

A quiet evening with lovely ambience, and the promise of delicious food.

A quiet evening with lovely ambience, and the promise of delicious food.

I guess if I was forced to conjure a description of ethnically Kiwi food based on my experience at Fern & Kiwi, I would go with Western with delusions of fusion – the restaurant has a heavily meat-centric menu (all good, in my book. It only tastes good if it bleeds sums up my food philosophy) with seafood and pizza thrown in for good measure. But at almost $20 a starter, $10 a side and $30 to just under $50 mains, that certainly made me feel slightly queasy.

That being said, if the food was worth the price tag, I would definitely find myself returning. For a quiet afternoon, a small gathering with friends, or a romantic night out (I could easily envision a girl being impressed with fancy restaurant prices and the fancy restaurant that came with them) it was perfect.The dining area upstairs had large windows framing lush, street side greenery, and  letting in lots of natural light into the spacious interiors. The tables were dabbed with small, classy touches, like white table linen, flowers, and complemented with wood paneled walls adorned with themed abstract art.

Keeping it classy at Fern & Kiwi.

Keeping it classy at Fern & Kiwi.

I was equipped with a $40 voucher dining deal (which I paid $20 for), and I figured that would trim down the bill somewhat significantly. The dinner party comprised a friend of mine, me, and my husband. We had had a late tea shortly before so we ordered food to share – a Crusty Cheese Loaf, a cauliflower gratin, a main course of Classic Pork Spare Ribs and my fine dining staple, truffle fries. Truthfully I am in search of the perfect truffle fry, and once I catch a whiff of the oil wafting out of the kitchen, the impulse to order it is a purely physical reaction.

The Crusty Cheese Loaf - simple and good.

The Crusty Cheese Loaf – simple and good.

First to arrive was the Crusty Cheese Bread which was described as a freshly baked “Vienna cheese and garlic loaf” with “whipped garlic butter, olive oil and sea salt”. And it was all of those things. The texture was light and fluffy, and the bread pulled apart gently and easily, as if it was baked two minutes prior to serving.

Classic Spare Ribs with Fries. The fries were the better half - a carnivore's tragedy.

Classic Spare Ribs with Fries. The fries were the better half – a carnivore’s tragedy.

The ribs soon followed, served with a side of “rustic, hand cut ‘lady claire’ potato fries”, for we all know that the best potatoes are named after people, and the upper crust of that cohort are named after nobles. The fries were good, served in nice chunks of universal appeal. The Classic Pork Spare Ribs, however, was merely a pretender to the throne – baked in honey, hoisin and orange glaze, I highly doubt the pedigree of the dish and its classicalness. The meat was tender, but was sadly outstripped by the cloying sweetness of the glaze, and the Asiatic notes of hoisin, when doused disproportionately in honey, ring too close to US Chinese take-out.  And at ~$35 a plate, I expected something a whole lot closer to unadulterated yum.

 

Cauliflower gratin - Something I Would Eat.

Cauliflower gratin – Something I Would Eat.

The cauliflower gratin with Upper Moutere cheddar performed more solidly, but frankly speaking I can’t say I was expecting a whole lot from cauliflower, but it made the prospect of eating something good for you at least somewhat enticing, which I suppose passes for success in the vegetable arena.

And finally, my resident truffle fries review. At first I couldn’t tell the difference between the truffle fries and the regular (but delicious) ones. Only occasionally when the stars aligned were the fries adequately baptized with truffle seasoning and worth remembering; subtly and deliciously flavored, with crisp, generous wedges of potato with the privilege of playing conduit to this perfection. But I would take this with a pinch of salt, however, as I only had maybe three to five truly truffle fries spread out through a serving of normal ones that I diligently worked through.

 

NZ beer - it's just beer.

NZ beer – it’s just beer.

According to my husband, the NZ beer was just what it professed to be, stark, modest, and naturally brewed, and nothing much to write home about. The service, however, was pretty abysmal even by Singapore standards. Water took ages to be served, and when it was, they forgot to mention it was $12 a bottle, I suppose it just slipped their mind. Perhaps it’s just too classy a place for me – maybe the patrons who aren’t clutching dining deals have too much money to notice the price, the poor service or the lack of (justifiably significant) quality. I had expected a Kiwi restaurant to feel more like New Zealand – pleasant, laid-back, presented with fresh, unpretentious food, but perhaps it’s my fault; I should have known better than to trust a predominantly European country with fusion.

Rating: 3/5 stars

This daily deal review was posted by Janice

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Singapore Daily Deal Review – Three Wombats Cafe

63% off All-Day European 4-Course at Balestier, Valid Daily! Choose ANY 18 Choices of Ala-carte Main!

I can never reject the idea of spending an entire afternoon with a friend or two, chilling in a cozy and laidback café in Singapore. If you feel the same way as I do, a hidden gem that offers Aussie cuisine can be found along the street of Kim Keat road, just a short bus trip away from Novena/ Farrer Park MRT station, with a relaxing dining deal from Streetdeal.

Adorable wombat icon of the café

Adorable wombat icon of the café

Cozy/comfy café space

Cozy/comfy café space

The café might be cozy but the seats are very limited, there are only around 10 tables in total, so it is advisable to call for reservation than to walk in. Not only does the place made me felt like home, even the staff was friendly and patient. The staff really delivered top notch services by patiently waiting at the side for me to shoot pictures of the current dish before serving up the next, and that is not all. After serving up the food, they took effort to engage with me by introducing and sharing details of the dishes before leaving the table, pretty impressive. I got to enjoy a 4-Course Australia (Soup of the day, main dish, drink & dessert of the day).

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Beef Lasagna

Beef Lasagna

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Double Chocolate Brownie & Carrot Cake

Double Chocolate Brownie & Carrot Cake

The creamy broccoli soup brought me to a whole new level of soup perspective, it’s so yummy! You know how lasagna can be served quite dry sometimes? The boyfriend’s order of beef lasagna came with generous portion of homemade beefy Bolognese sauce topped with a pretty layer of mozzarella cheese! My order of deep fried battered dory (Finding Nemo) on the other hand came with a huge portion of wedges, served with their special sauce. Both main dishes were Wombat’s recommended dish, but I personally prefer the lasagna more. Although the desserts were served at really tiny portion (strangely), it still ended our meal on a sweeter note. Wombat is definitely a good place to dine and spent time with your love ones, the food are unpretentious and amazingly tasty! For the deal of $12.90 nett, the entire meal and ambience is definitely worth your visit!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This daily deal review was posted by Adeline Tan

Interested to write for us?  We’ll pay for the price of your deal!  Contact the Team @ Deals Singapore to make it happen.

Singapore Daily Deal Review – Xcape Real Escape Game

$14.90/Pax for Admission to Xcape Singapore purchased from BigDeal

Xcape is located at Purvis Street, opposite the National Library. It isn’t very difficult to locate the place because it is situated right along the same passageway as Saveur the restaurant. Even though the game station is based on level 4, directory could be found the moment you enter the building, arrows and sign boards will direct you to the lift.

Directions on the steps upon entrance

Directions on the steps upon entrance

I was expecting a really messy, LAN gaming center kind of environment before this trip. But of course, I was wrong. The place was brightly lit, everything was neat and tidy, the staff were smiley and friendly, and even the air smells great! Before starting the game, house rules will be explained to you and lockers will be provided for you to store your bags and belongings as phones and cameras are not allowed within the game premises.

Clean & tidy shop

Clean & tidy shop

Free mini games on table to play while waiting for turns

Free mini games on table to play while waiting for turns

We chose the game – ‘Whisper of the Dead’ which has a level 4 difficulty rating. The game room is really worth praising. Every detail; wallpaper, lighting, crops, decoration and music were really well done. 10 mintues inside the room, we were already sucked into the game, busy fliping boards, torching painting portraits hanging on the wall with UV lights to source for clues on paintings, wearing 3D glasses to look for clues. Every room is bound to surprise us with a new device, technology or crops that you can never image to really exist in real life.

Bulletin board filled with pictures of all gamers.

Bulletin board filled with pictures of all gamers.

There is no need to worry about ghosts or any thing jumping out suddenly to scare you. All the game rooms are purely based on searching for clues and items to assist you in breaking the codes and unlocking doors to the next stage and ultimately out of the room. It was a pity we were stucked in the final stage and wasn’t able to complete the game within the given period of 60 mintues. It is advisable to form a group of 4 to participate in the games to quicken up the searching process. Personally, I believe that Xcape would be a fantastic place for people to bond, perfect for a family’s day out or gathering activity for friends. Everyone will be guaranteed a memorable day.

Xcape logo

If you are sourcing for interesting and valuable daily deals in Singapore, Deal Singapore is the place you should be visiting. Xcape’s non peak charge is $22/pax, but with this fun and entertaining daily deal it’s only $14.90/pax! This is one deal that is worth investing in, I am definitely going back to experience the remaining games.

Rating – 5/5 stars

Check out some other deals by BigDeal

This daily deal review was posted by Adeline Tan

Interested to write for us?  We’ll pay for the price of your deal!  Contact the Team @ Deals Singapore to make it happen.

Singapore Daily Deal Review – 4 & A Half Gourmands

Only $9.99 For 3 Martinis or Margaritas purchased from Plus.Bigdeal.sg

Four and a half Gourmands on Hong Kong Street is a strange little space that feels too enclosed to succeed as a restaurant/bar hotspot, in spite of its central Clarke Quay location. Its roadside al fresco dining area may provide a more promising proposition, perhaps on days where one is not strangled by the unholy trifecta of heat, humidity and haze, but truthfully speaking, were it not for the “3 Martinis/Margaritas for $9.90” I had purchased, 4 ½ would never have been on my wining and dining list.

The choices that were advertised were strawberry, lime and lychee for either cocktail, with the additional option of espresso and chocolate for the martini range. I’m all about drinking dessert, so I was palpably disappointed when the wait staff informed me that only the fruity options were available. I had a strawberry martini that was solidly all right (especially for the price) but my two companions’ lychee margaritas were quite insipid. It could just be that martinis are far harder to mess up than margaritas, but I have tasted far, far worse (and far, far more expensive) drinks on this island.

We had the option of ordering an order of truffle fries for $5 (between $1 or $2 off the normal price) which we took up, and we ordered some other dishes to supplement this – Vietnamese chicken wings, garlic prawns, shepherd’s pie, quail’s egg wontons and Wagyu beef cubes (between $5 – $7.50 a dish). These appetizers ranged from pretty delicious to thoroughly lukewarm and finally, a pointless waste of money.

The truffle fries were good for fries, but truffle fries are like fry royalty, and come with imminently high standards. They were tasty, but the seasoning lacked either enough truffle oil or additional seasoning, and weren’t anywhere close to as pungent or addictive as truffle fries are supposed to be.

The meat appetizers were the highlights of our meal. South East Asia sure does a mean deep fried chicken wing, and the Vietnamese wings put on an excellent showing – when I was a child I had a Thai domestic helper and she made my favourite chicken wings in the world, and while these didn’t come close they reminded me of my childhood in all its glory, succulent, and perfectly fried. The Wagyu beef cubes were moist and good, if conservatively portioned (and they did look rather sad sitting quietly on the limp lettuce leaves).

Garlic prawns, quail's egg wontons and Vietnamese chicken wings.

Garlic prawns, quail’s egg wontons and Vietnamese chicken wings.

The quail’s egg wontons were just intriguing; what a bizarre idea, encasing quail’s eggs in wonton skin and deep-frying them, but then again, perhaps anything wrapped, presented as a dumpling and deep fried can’t go too far wrong. I liked them, although I still can’t wrap my head around them.

Quail's egg wontons - surprising, but good.

Quail’s egg wontons – surprising, but good.

The shepherd’s pie was pretty abysmal, with the thinnest layer of meat I have ever seen, and topped with processed, powdered cheese that shouldn’t be allowed near a pie. And the garlic prawns, well, they should speak for themselves visually, small, sad little things beached on a lonely plate that only seems to get larger the longer you look at it.

Shepherd's pie, drizzled with obviously canned cheese.

Shepherd’s pie, drizzled with obviously canned cheese.
Garlic prawns, passable but frankly I would have passed.

Garlic prawns, passable but frankly I would have passed.

I did, however, enjoy how quiet the place was, and my friends and I had a really nice, laid back evening. Furnishings-wise 4 ½ tries to be a classy place, with a monochrome colour-scheme, lush sofas and designer seats, but has too much going on, coming off as classy for a KTV lounge at best. (It doesn’t help that its neighbour, Fragrance Hotel, is in clear view of its patrons.) I would recommend sitting near the window and facing the street to alleviate the claustrophobic feeling of the interiors somewhat.

The bar for bar food in Singapore really isn’t set very high, but if you avoid my mistakes (the shepherd’s pie, prawns) and go for 4 ½ ‘s simpler, greasier offerings, you might have a reasonably enjoyable night that is, at the very least, affordable. It’s a pity that its Hong Kong Street location will never amount to a legitimate drinking hole, on the strength of its bar alone and the pokey-ness of the interior space, otherwise its decent bar food menu might be quite a boon. That said, they do advertise an alcohol buffet deal that I may return for, if I want to get plastered really, really desperately.

Check out some other deals by Plus Big Deal SG

This daily deal review was posted by Janice

Interested to write for us?  We’ll pay for the cost of your deal!  Contact the Team @ Deals Lion City to make it happen.

Singapore Daily Deal Review – Suanthai Restaurant

All-You-Can-Eat Dinner Buffet at Suanthai Restaurant purchased from AllDealsAsia.com

Suanthai Restaurant is located at a convenient spot along Killiney Road, which is only a few minutes’ walk from Somerset MRT station if you are taking public transport. Upon entering the restaurant, I can’t help to feel quite at home with the cozy ambience. To enjoy Suanthai’s buffet spread, there must be a minimum of 2 diners and it is a must to make prior reservation because the restaurant gets really packed during peak hours and you would not want to be waiting for a seat by the space at the tiny entrance.

Suanthai Restaurant Seating

The ambiance, quite nice

When one speaks of ‘All-you-can-eat’ buffet, naturally it means free flow of food. It was undeniable that Suanthai provided me with a wide range of Thailand cuisine, 28 choices to be exact. But the shocking truth was that, not everything on the menu was ‘All-you-can-eat’. When I took a look at the dishes that were restricted to one time order only, I came to a realization that those were the popular Thai dishes (E.g. Green Curry w/ Mixed Seafood, Boneless Stuffed Chicken Wing & Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf). Adding on to the disappointment, the buffet does not include any basic form of beverages. You either purchase a bottle of mineral water or pay an additional fee of $2.99++ for free flow iced lemon tea which comes in a jug.

Menu of Thai Dishes

Menu with one time only orders

Bottle of mineral water & ice tea

Water & Ice Tea to keep us cool

As the service crews were mainly foreigners, there was a slight language barrier when orders were taken. A lot of hand gestures were made before the message got carried across, however their speed of serving up the food really earned them a pat on the back. As my partner and I were settled down at a small single table, the table was quickly filled up with dishes from their prompt service but it did not leave us with any comfortable space to dine as we need to keep a lookout, ensuring that the dishes placed at the edge would not fall off. I would be more appreciative if the crews could be more watchful by serving up new dishes only when we have finished our current ones or clearing off empty plates to create more dining space for us.

Table full of Thai Dishes

Table full of Thai Dishes

Green Curry

Green Curry

Personally I love their boneless stuffed chicken but sadly, it belongs to the ONE-time order category, so I really had to take my time to savor that dish. Another down side of the restaurant is that, all their dish comes in really small portion and so you need to keep calling for the waiter to order more. Strangely, some of the dishes served that day were kind of cold, but because the dishes still tasted good, I didn’t really kick up a fuss about it. Beside the Thai Spring Roll which was pretty normal and tasted like those sold in Old Chang Kee, the rest of the dishes were satisfying. Their Green Curry with Mixed Seafood and Deep Fried Whole Fish with Sweet, Sour & Spicy Sauce are worthy for recommendation. Their dessert corner was not very surprising; there were only 3 choices to pick from: Mixed fruits, Red Ruby and Steamed Tapioca. Being a red ruby fan, it was definitely a happy moment to find out that the dish was available there. As the dessert corner requires customers to ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY), I was able to determine the level of sweetness for my dessert. The only reason that is preventing the dessert from scoring a full point was that – the ice shavings were not fine enough. Some of the ice were still in tiny cube shapes and so I had to bite and crew my way through the dessert.

Thai Fish

Thai Fish

Awards won by Suanthai

Impressive display of awards at the door

It was a wonder how a restaurant which received so many culinary awards can be so careless with tiny details such as customer’s dining comfort level and the standard of their food (being served cold). If you are not a big eater or do not have a big appetite, this is the right restaurant for you. The multiple plates of tiny portion food would surely fill up your tummy and prevent wastage of food, which can be charged at $2 per person. Although this dining deal bought excludes the GST and service tax, but when you do a little calculation after paying for these charges, the overall price for the meal is valuable. I would make a repeat purchase for the deal because the ambience really appeal to me, the price is reasonable and some of the dishes are worth a second chance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Check out some other deals by All Deals Asia

This daily deal review was posted by Adeline Tan

Interested to write for us?  We’ll pay for the price of your deal!  Contact the Team @ Deals Lion City to make it happen.